The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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Time to spread your hawk wings

Freshman year. The beginning of a new saga. The time where you walk, stumble, trudge even into your new daily life for the next four years. All of a sudden you’re no longer surrounded by familiar faces who are the same age as you, but instead by copious amounts of strangers. You start sharing classes with actual adults who probably have jobs and bills to pay and a wife to go back home to. And we’re not talking about the teachers.

Although we’re seniors now, and we don’t have wives (we’re working on it), and only one of us has a job, we know what being an incoming freshman is like. Believe it or not, we weren’t always so old and wrinkly and decrepit and senile. 

No, in September 2019, both of us came from the purgatory of Brier Terrace Middle School as baby-faced freshmen, with fear and anticipation laced in our eyes.

If you’re a freshman this year, or even just an underclassman, then you’ve probably been given generic advice reiterating “Try new things!” But don’t worry, we’re here to tell you that exact same thing!

Looking back on our freshman year, it feels as though we’re living completely different lives now. We exchanged a total of 12 words to each other and didn’t hold eye contact until about two years after those words were exchanged. 

Now we run a million-dollar news business together. None of this would’ve ever happened had neither of us branched out and joined Hawkeye those fateful three years ago.

Of course it’s easier said than done, immersing yourself into something foreign and sticking by it. The early stages are always daunting and you find yourself wondering if you even enjoy what you’re doing, and sometimes you actually don’t. 

But that’s perfectly fine. Discovering the things you don’t like is just as important as finding the things you do. Maybe you’ll end up playing in band for seven years only to quit your senior year and abruptly choose to join the Eco Club instead.

But maybe you’ll find a club that ends up being the best part of your day, the reason you continue to go to school every day (that and fear of going to court for truancy). Maybe you’ll make friends exclusively there and end up spending your summer vacation working for it from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. every day instead of actually taking any sort of break. That’s what Hawkeye is for us, and if you take that leap of faith, you may just find your own Hawkeye! Or just Hawkeye, period… We’re open in room 130, come join us. 

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But what if you’re not a freshman? What if you’ve already found a niche that’s safe and familiar, but you’re still curious about other things? This advice doesn’t only apply to freshmen; you can be a senior this year and still try new things. 

Once the light at the end of your dark, dreary high school experience is in sight, it’s more difficult than ever to branch out and take risks. The friend groups have already formed, and what if you can’t fit into them? 

Respectfully, who cares? High school is only a fraction of your life, and a better time than ever to discover things about yourself and your interests.

Letting yourself have fun is important as well. Not everything you do should be for academic reasons. Going to spirit assemblies, participating in spirit weeks, attending sports games and dances may not have an effect on your transcript, but they still leave a big impact. How can anyone expect to enjoy their high school career if all they can prioritize is grades? In fact, having fun can actually benefit your grades. 

If you don’t believe us, just look at the science behind it. Doing something you’re interested in and being excited increases the oxytocin, dopamine and norepinephrine levels in your brain, which in turn improves learning and memory. See? Even scientists agree that you should go berserk and party every night like a celebrity.

To be honest, neither of us may be in a position to be giving out all this advice, considering we spent nearly half of our high school career online. We didn’t exactly get the chance to take every opportunity presented to us, and didn’t even before the world shut down. 

However, it gave us a new perspective. We didn’t do much during our freshman year, but when we were finally able to come back, the spirit of Herkey the Hawk possessed us and we were going after everything under the sun. 

We were going into our junior year still feeling like freshmen, only this time we felt the pressure of having to seem like we had this whole high school shtick figured out. Yet the deprivation of normal life left us wanting more, and we felt like we had to compensate for the growth that we didn’t experience. 

In actuality, sometimes it still doesn’t feel like we made up for those lost times and made the most of it. But hindsight will do that. You can always wish you’d done more, regret being scared of talking to people you think are cool, and rethink every imperfect interaction over and over until you feel like everything you’ve done in life was a mistake. All you can do is make the most of life when you can, and accept the moments when you can’t. As much as we advocate for putting yourself out there and taking risks, there’s no need to berate your past or current self if you don’t.

We hope to be a positive part of whatever you decide to do this school year, whether you’re a freshman with every new opportunity available to you, an upperclassman that’s already familiar with the school, a teacher that’s been here for decades or anyone else in the community. 

No matter who you are, you can still make the most of this year and take a step outside of your comfort zone, and we’ll be here to document the happenings around the school along the way.

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About the Contributors
Maggie O'Hara, Hawkeye Co-Editor-in-Chief
Co-Editor-in-Chief Maggie O’Hara is a senior at MTHS and is in her fourth year on staff for The Hawkeye. This year, she hopes to help others follow through on any plans or creative ideas they have, edit as much as possible to prove herself as copy editor, and keep the organization running as smoothly as possible. In her free time, Maggie enjoys drawing rats, dyeing hair, drinking coffee and other forms of caffeine, and spending time with her cat Paul. After high school, Maggie is hoping to go to college and pursue a job in either psychology or cosmetology.
Cecilia Negash, Hawkeye Co-Editor-in-Chief
Cecilia Negash is a senior at MTHS and the Co-Editor-In-Chief of The Hawkeye. She joined in her freshman year and focused mostly on photography and writing. In her free time, she works at her part-time job, enjoys gardening, crocheting, and sending pen pals to prisoners. She also religiously listens to the Renaissance album by Beyonce and likes to do extensive research on the cast of Twilight.
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